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The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

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From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from dark matter to black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life. But what happens at the end of the story? In billions of years, humanity could still exist in some unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe is final. What might such a cataclysm look like? And what does it mean for us? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was eighteen, when her astronomy professor first informed her the universe could end at any moment, setting her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she unpacks them in The End of Everything, taking us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos’ possible finales: the Big Crunch; the Heat Death; Vacuum Decay; the Big Rip; and the Bounce. In the tradition of Neil DeGrasse’s bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Mack guides us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, in a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of everything we know.


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From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from dark matter to black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life. But what happens at the end of the story? In billions of years, humanity could still exist in some unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe is final. What might such a cataclysm look like? And what does it mean for us? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was eighteen, when her astronomy professor first informed her the universe could end at any moment, setting her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she unpacks them in The End of Everything, taking us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos’ possible finales: the Big Crunch; the Heat Death; Vacuum Decay; the Big Rip; and the Bounce. In the tradition of Neil DeGrasse’s bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Mack guides us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, in a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of everything we know.

30 review for The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Katie Mack takes us on a delightfully dark journey, explaining in vivid detail five different ways the entire Universe could end. I don’t tend to read a lot of popular astronomy books, because they either tell me things I already knew, or explain things in a way that’s clumsily stuck between plain English and scientific terminology but doing justice to neither. None of this is the case here though. I learned so many new things, plus was presented with insightful explanations of ideas I already u Katie Mack takes us on a delightfully dark journey, explaining in vivid detail five different ways the entire Universe could end. I don’t tend to read a lot of popular astronomy books, because they either tell me things I already knew, or explain things in a way that’s clumsily stuck between plain English and scientific terminology but doing justice to neither. None of this is the case here though. I learned so many new things, plus was presented with insightful explanations of ideas I already understood but had previously felt had always been explained badly. Some of the analogies to convey complex concepts, like cyclic universes and the cosmic microwave background, are truly superb, and have permanently deepened and shifted my understanding. Crystal clear explanations of advanced concepts, coverage of the very latest theories and ideas, and a sense of wry humour throughout all make this book something unique and special. No matter what your level of knowledge going in, you’ll come away from “The End of Everything” with a profound new understanding of cosmic doom, but also with a sense of empowerment that defies our inevitable destruction. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Whenever I read about the vastness of the universe, I feel like I travel in time. We see distant galaxies billions of years in the past and I wonder how they look like now. Cosmology is a difficult astronomy field – not that the others are much easier for a layman – but a very compelling one. Everything related to the origins or the end of the universe has a strong attraction to me. That’s the main reason for choosing this book and the fact that I heard/read some of AstroKatie’s talks/tweets and I Whenever I read about the vastness of the universe, I feel like I travel in time. We see distant galaxies billions of years in the past and I wonder how they look like now. Cosmology is a difficult astronomy field – not that the others are much easier for a layman – but a very compelling one. Everything related to the origins or the end of the universe has a strong attraction to me. That’s the main reason for choosing this book and the fact that I heard/read some of AstroKatie’s talks/tweets and I liked the way she talked. Unfortunately, it was not the case with this book. Albeit very interesting, the writing almost ruined it for me. She digresses so much that you forgot what the main thread was. On addition, the author explains almost every concept used in phrases. Not that these are not interesting; it’s just too much and it scrambles the whole narrative. If a reader chooses to read this book, I assume it has some physics/astronomy knowledge and doesn’t need everything explained; it’s supposed to be a popularizing science book, not a school one. All these diversions would have worked much better as footnotes, not included in the narrative thread. As for the actual footnotes, which are meant to be witty, mostly they are not and do not add anything of value to the book; on the contrary, along with all the parenthesis, digressions, and explanations, they just divert the reader’s attention to the point that you begin to feel exasperated. It’s one thing to tweet or give a five minutes talk and sound great and an utterly different thing to write a book. Maybe her next one will be better. It’s not a book to avoid, but wait for your brains to be jumbled not only by the concepts, which was expected, but by the writing too, which was not. >>> ARC received thanks to Penguin Press UK – Allen Lane via NetGalley <<<

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Astrophysicist Katie Mack provides insight into the myriad ways in which the world could end, extinguishing life in the process, and despite the topic being a morbid and sobering one I found it absolutely riveting, extensively researched and accessible throughout; it really is a rarity that a science book can have you so enthralled by what you are reading. It explores five different ways the universe could end and the wondrous physics, big questions, and mind-blowing lessons underlying them with Astrophysicist Katie Mack provides insight into the myriad ways in which the world could end, extinguishing life in the process, and despite the topic being a morbid and sobering one I found it absolutely riveting, extensively researched and accessible throughout; it really is a rarity that a science book can have you so enthralled by what you are reading. It explores five different ways the universe could end and the wondrous physics, big questions, and mind-blowing lessons underlying them with each being discussed thoroughly and all being deeply interesting concepts to read about, if not a little scary. The perfect antidote to the rather depressing subject matter is the liberal sprinkle of wit and humour interspersed amongst its pages. Most of all it illustrates the transient nature of life. A captivating, informative and profoundly thought-provoking book I am not likely to forget any time soon. Many thanks to Allen Lane for an ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paperclippe

    Do you, like me, love footnotes? Then buckle up, friendo, because this is the book for you. Katie Mack is world-renowned in some circles, which is to say, the best circles, for her Twitter account, where she is hilarious, sensitive, and able to explain the most complicated physics concepts not just so that even the layest of laypeople can understand them, but so that those same people can have a good laugh, too. The End of Everything is all that and more. I've got a big, big soft spot for eschatol Do you, like me, love footnotes? Then buckle up, friendo, because this is the book for you. Katie Mack is world-renowned in some circles, which is to say, the best circles, for her Twitter account, where she is hilarious, sensitive, and able to explain the most complicated physics concepts not just so that even the layest of laypeople can understand them, but so that those same people can have a good laugh, too. The End of Everything is all that and more. I've got a big, big soft spot for eschatology, so I started this book with high, high hopes, and not for a single moment did Mack let me down. She takes the reader on a tour of all the exciting, horrifying, and strangely beautiful ways that all this - and I do mean all this - might eventually come to an end. From the heat death of the universe to the big rip, Mack goes into stirring and vivid details about the ways in which we might eventually say goodbye to everything* - and maybe even say hello again. *We, of course, won't be saying anything - we'll have been swallowed up by the sun long before then.** **Assuming no bubbles come and swallow us up first.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Great science writing I enjoyed this book. Katie Mack has a relaxed, casual writing style and the book felt more like a discussion over a cup of coffee. She shows a good sense of humor and the footnotes are definitely worth reading. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, Mack weaves a compelling tale about the future of the universe. Not a lot of jargon is used and the writing style is conversational. Mack weaves herself into the story making the book a type of journey. Normally, I don’t l Great science writing I enjoyed this book. Katie Mack has a relaxed, casual writing style and the book felt more like a discussion over a cup of coffee. She shows a good sense of humor and the footnotes are definitely worth reading. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, Mack weaves a compelling tale about the future of the universe. Not a lot of jargon is used and the writing style is conversational. Mack weaves herself into the story making the book a type of journey. Normally, I don’t like when scientists wax philosophical, but in this book, this was done splendidly. I recommend this book for anyone interested in science. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    A short book on the long term future of the universe. With Sun burning out and merging of our galaxy with Andromeda, The disappearance over the cosmic horizon of all other galaxies outside our local group, the Heat death, Boltzmann Brains, a possible big rip, or cosmic bounce, of bubble nucleation, starting as a seed and growing in the universe at the speed of light and changing the laws of physics and destroying everything it envelops. Lots of poisons to pick from. Interesting to think about th A short book on the long term future of the universe. With Sun burning out and merging of our galaxy with Andromeda, The disappearance over the cosmic horizon of all other galaxies outside our local group, the Heat death, Boltzmann Brains, a possible big rip, or cosmic bounce, of bubble nucleation, starting as a seed and growing in the universe at the speed of light and changing the laws of physics and destroying everything it envelops. Lots of poisons to pick from. Interesting to think about the end of everything but from our vantage point, we may be missing something. Who knows what clever chimps like us will find someday.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    The thought of the end of the universe isn't something that makes me smile and laugh... However, Katie Mack's "The End of Everything" certainly managed to turn the subject into one to be taken more light-heartedly. This is a really engaging read that's easy to get to grips with (though some parts did manage to tie my head in knots - thanks mainly to thought processes nudged into being by what I was reading). Fun, informative, and oddly comforting! My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley The thought of the end of the universe isn't something that makes me smile and laugh... However, Katie Mack's "The End of Everything" certainly managed to turn the subject into one to be taken more light-heartedly. This is a really engaging read that's easy to get to grips with (though some parts did manage to tie my head in knots - thanks mainly to thought processes nudged into being by what I was reading). Fun, informative, and oddly comforting! My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advance copy to review. This review is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kriti | Armed with A Book

    I love reading books about science and this one is, by far, my favorite. Katie is a humorous narrator and she does a fantastic job at presenting hard concepts to readers, using everyday examples to make us understand the gravity of the situation and the intuition behind the theories. Through The End of Everything I learned about the multiple ways in which the universe can end. I enjoyed revisiting concepts I had learned back in my high school Physics class and their advanced applications. I love I love reading books about science and this one is, by far, my favorite. Katie is a humorous narrator and she does a fantastic job at presenting hard concepts to readers, using everyday examples to make us understand the gravity of the situation and the intuition behind the theories. Through The End of Everything I learned about the multiple ways in which the universe can end. I enjoyed revisiting concepts I had learned back in my high school Physics class and their advanced applications. I loved the theological side of the book and learning about the varying perspectives in the branches of physics about the different theories. This book not only made physics more accessible to me, it also brought me up to speed on a number of developments that we don't realize the importance of in every day life since they get glanced over. The amount of time and effort put by scientists into understand our universe is commendable and this book does a phenomenal job of bringing the effort to the forefront of the mind. Full of knowledge that you will not regret gaining, I highly recommend this book! Many thanks to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to diving deeper into what I learned and sharing that on publication day!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    This is a short book, but a dense read. Some concepts went way over my head but, over all, the author does a great job of making most of the content understandable for those of us not conversant in astrophysics. She discusses several theories about the end of the universe. If this is something that doesn't normally worry you, think again, since apparently some theories say that it could happen, not billions of years in the future, but at any moment. Even now. Dr. Mack also includes an easy to fo This is a short book, but a dense read. Some concepts went way over my head but, over all, the author does a great job of making most of the content understandable for those of us not conversant in astrophysics. She discusses several theories about the end of the universe. If this is something that doesn't normally worry you, think again, since apparently some theories say that it could happen, not billions of years in the future, but at any moment. Even now. Dr. Mack also includes an easy to follow overview of the history of, well, everything. The tone is straightforward and full of humor. When a longer explanation is required - one that usually takes people with high iQs years of training to even begin to grasp - she does a good job of giving readers the basics to at least get a general idea of the subject. Interesting. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ Scribner!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I had not heard of Katie Mack before getting this book and, wow, was I missing out! I'm certainly no astrophysicist but The End of everything was perfectly understandable. The author explains several ways in which the universe will end and she makes it make sense! If, like me, you are curious about the end of the universe and what could happen, get this book! It's amazing!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Lauren

    I really enjoyed this book about what might happen at the end of the universe. The science is fascinating, even though there is no guarantee that it won't change in the future. It is entertaining to contemplate this universe that is too big to understand making these cataclysmic moves. The author is both articulate and funny, which makes some of the more complex stuff understandable. It is a fun book to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Very well done. It covers a huge amount of material in an accessible way, and with humor. The author would likely be fun in a classroom. Recommended. Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sergiy

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. As someone who has been voraciously reading and re-reading every popular science article regarding astronomy I could get my hands on since the mid-90s, this book was obviously going to be of interest to me. The study of cosmology has been probing the past, trying to figure out the mysteries of the big bang, and the evolution of the stars and galalaxies we see today. Over the last three decades scientists have figured o I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. As someone who has been voraciously reading and re-reading every popular science article regarding astronomy I could get my hands on since the mid-90s, this book was obviously going to be of interest to me. The study of cosmology has been probing the past, trying to figure out the mysteries of the big bang, and the evolution of the stars and galalaxies we see today. Over the last three decades scientists have figured out that in addition to normal everyday matter that you, I, and our planet are made of, the universe also consists of 5x as much invisible dark matter, and 14x of something called dark energy. All of this has been derived from studying increasingly far away objects in the universe, some are so far away that the light they emitted is now getting to us about 13 billion years later, meaning that with the right telescope you can actually look at and study the dawn of the cosmos, which is exactly what was done to come to all of the above conclusions. Ok, so enough exposition. Let's get to the premise of the book. The idea is that if we think we know all of these things about the universe from it's start - up until now, then we should be able to wind the clock forward and use our understanding of physics to predict what will happen in the future. Will the universe just go on forever, or will everything eventually come to an end? If you ever wondered about that, and I bet you have, this book has some answers for you! Katie Mack does a great job compiling the current most likely endings of the universe given the available data and prevailing theories of the day. This is to say that we should all be looking for a second edition in the next decade or two. The different ways the universe might come to an end are as follows: +The heat death: which despite the sound of it is actually extremely cold, more like the death of heat. +The big rip: Wherein everything is torn apart, including star systems, planets, and even molecules and atoms. +The big crunch: This one is really epic, all of the light that has ever been emitted throughout the entire history of the universe gets compressed, concentrated, shifted to a higher energy level, and burns everything with the power of a gagillion suns. In this scenario, the stars will burn from the outside in. +vacuum decay: The painless one, and my preferred method if the universe had to end tomorrow and I was there for it. +bouncing universe: I already forget what this one is actually called, but this is the one with other dimension where a parallel universe collides with our own periodically in a bouncing fashion. Probably my least favorite of the bunch. Katie additionally goes into the history of each theory, including giving credit to the scientists involved. This is probably where I learned the most from this book. One story that stuck out to me was the story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt's discovery of the brightness-periodicity relationship of Cepheid variables. This is a crucial discovery which has served as a foundation for our distance measurement scales to probe the large scale structure of the universe, ans is not something we covered in any of my Astronomy classes in high school or University. I think it's important to go back and give people their due that may have been overlooked or under-recognized in their own lifetime. The conversation from 2018's Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray is also continued with a discussion on whether funding for a larger collider is really warranted. It's hard to pin down exactly where Katie comes down in this debate, she is certainly more generous to the collider folks than Sabine Hossenfelder was. While Katie does a good job of covering all the basics in order to help you understand the book, I'm coming at it as a physicist and definitely have a much easier time understanding everything. The cosmology class in college where we studied the equation of state of the universe certainly helps as well. That being said this book should be accessible to anyone with an interest in STEM and who has read a few other popular astronomy/cosmology books. Another thing to note is that while covering the basics I was not bored to death reading about things I already knew, and found myself engaged and interested. It's always nice to see information presented in a new way and I believe that it is important to continually strive to find new and better ways to present physics to the general public. This book is 5/5 I found out more about the end of the universe than I knew I wanted to know.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Looks interesting -- and short. But my GR pal Claudia didn't like it at all! Which is why I hadn't TBRd until now. More good reviews have appeared since hers, and here's one from a guy Carol. lhttps://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/202... "With all the science books out there, why choose Mack’s book? ... I have not read a more inviting scientist than Mack since Sagan. She has that manner of talking to an old friend. It encourages to reader to continue. She also has a sense of humor and probably the mo Looks interesting -- and short. But my GR pal Claudia didn't like it at all! Which is why I hadn't TBRd until now. More good reviews have appeared since hers, and here's one from a guy Carol. lhttps://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/202... "With all the science books out there, why choose Mack’s book? ... I have not read a more inviting scientist than Mack since Sagan. She has that manner of talking to an old friend. It encourages to reader to continue. She also has a sense of humor and probably the most enjoyable footnotes I have ever read. ... Mack not only makes cosmology and physics understandable she makes it inviting. There is an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge that is missing in many other books on similar subjects. That enthusiasm is contagious and welcoming. She will give the reader an understanding of the big picture of cosmology as well as a few Douglas Adams references. Extremely well done."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    sent to me for review

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary T

    One of the best science-for-the-masses books ever! Katie Mack is a great explainer. I feel like I actually understand The Big Rip, false vacuums, gravity waves, etc. (“Feel” is the operative word here.) Plus, she has such a positive attitude: she clearly loves what she is doing and does not waste her (and our) time complaining about the difficulties of doing science in mid 21st century America. Highly recommended!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Books about cosmos and astrophysics always fill me with wonder, awe and admiration for our universe. This one added dread to the list, but in a good way. More seriously, this book is everything you would expect : latest theories about our universe, witty and nerdy comments, philosophical about what this all mean. The author is true and share her deep passion for her field in an really enjoyable way. 11/10, would voluntary have others sleepless night thinking about the end of the universe

  18. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Connors

    Astrophysicist Katie Mack shares her insights into the various ways the universe could theoretically end. One would expect this to be a dark and morbid book but quite the opposite! Her excitement about her field is contagious and her explanations of the theories she presents are fascinating with a good dose of humor thrown in. Don't skip the footnotes. Lots of gold there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    On the level of Hawking in terms of clarity and interest. Katie Mack makes you feel smart, and you finish each chapter with the feeling that you’ve actually learned something.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amber Veenswijk

    Putting this on my tbr after hearing hoziers lovely voice read a passage from it on his livestream

  21. 4 out of 5

    Noah Haggerty

    While this book is mainly focused on the end of the universe, as the title suggests, Mack also uses the subject as a springboard to discuss a wide range of physics topics. Mack strikes a perfect balance between the discussion of the end of the universe and of the fascinating techniques and processes scientists use to uncover what the end will look like. This filled me with both existential dread and pure wonder, and I often found myself smirking at this ironic juxtaposition of emotions (as well While this book is mainly focused on the end of the universe, as the title suggests, Mack also uses the subject as a springboard to discuss a wide range of physics topics. Mack strikes a perfect balance between the discussion of the end of the universe and of the fascinating techniques and processes scientists use to uncover what the end will look like. This filled me with both existential dread and pure wonder, and I often found myself smirking at this ironic juxtaposition of emotions (as well as from her wittiness that boosts the tone of this inevitability dark subject matter.) The second to last chapter shifts focus a bit and provides a wonderful “pulse check” on modern physics- discussing it’s triumphs, difficulties, and what working physicists think about the future of the field. This transitions into the final chapter, which provides a diverse set of opinions from these physicists on what the leading theories of the end of the universe mean for us now. A powerful closer, it filled me with a tremendous appreciation of life, and living for the sake of living- exploring all the facets of the temporary universe we live in. This book doesn’t require previous knowledge of physics, but does require concentration to understand the more complex concepts, and any reader about to pick up the book should be aware that the scope of the book is well beyond simply explaining the five leading theories of the end of the universe. I have a gut feeling that this book will become a classic in the field of popular physics, sitting among the works of Hawking, Tyson, and Sagan. (Also a fun tidbit I discovered: Mack’s reference of Hozier’s song “No Plan” at the beginning of chapter 8 is a nod to the reference Hozier makes in that very song to Mack’s research!)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Mccoy

    This mind blowing journey about how EVERYTHING ends stands apart and alone from most popular science books out there. It is a great pleasure to listen to an author who has something new to say in a thoughtful, engaging and entertaining manner. After having read and listened to many astronomy and cosmology books and audiobooks, I can’t help noticing that despite good intentions, the majority of popular science authors seem to go over familiar ground, rehashing topics, explanations and metaphors t This mind blowing journey about how EVERYTHING ends stands apart and alone from most popular science books out there. It is a great pleasure to listen to an author who has something new to say in a thoughtful, engaging and entertaining manner. After having read and listened to many astronomy and cosmology books and audiobooks, I can’t help noticing that despite good intentions, the majority of popular science authors seem to go over familiar ground, rehashing topics, explanations and metaphors that don’t cover new ground. In ’The End of Everything’, Dr Mack, with great clarity, leads her gentle reader through vast, mind boggling thoughts without getting lost. Her gentle humour made me laugh out loud many times, which provided a great ironic contrast with the immensity and seriousness of the book’s theme. The audio narration is excellent, with the scientific terms correctly pronounced - mispronunciations are an annoyingly common feature of many science audiobooks. I can’t recommend this book enough - thoughtful, inspiring, weighty, engaging. Great science communication.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    "At some point, in a cosmic sense, it will not have mattered that we ever lived. The universe will, more likely than not, fade into a cold, dark, empty cosmos, and all that we’ve done will be utterly forgotten." It took me forever to get through this book. To be fair, I am not good at physics and even though I've read a few Brian Greene books, I am far far away from the amount of knowledge it would help to have before reading this book. That didn't stop me from working hard to make my way through "At some point, in a cosmic sense, it will not have mattered that we ever lived. The universe will, more likely than not, fade into a cold, dark, empty cosmos, and all that we’ve done will be utterly forgotten." It took me forever to get through this book. To be fair, I am not good at physics and even though I've read a few Brian Greene books, I am far far away from the amount of knowledge it would help to have before reading this book. That didn't stop me from working hard to make my way through it. It's written in common, easy language and tries to add both some perspective and levity but at the end of the day, this is a book about astrophysics and there's no way that's not going to be dense (unless you simplify it so much that it's pointless. Katie Mack manages to make it both readable and keeps the physics serious, real, and interesting. If physics is your thing or you're just fascinated like I am, this is the book for you. with gratitude to netgalley and Scribner for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jim Moore

    Absolutely a must read! Katie Mack hits it out of the park and deep into the Universe (accelerating as it goes) with this readable, enjoyable, fascinating, and, ultimately satisfying examination of the Universe's end game. Mack poses the question physicists and non-physicists alike have pondered every time we gaze into the depths of space: "How's it all gonna end?" With a writing style sensitive to the timid but curious minds of those who want to better understand the prospects of a universe that Absolutely a must read! Katie Mack hits it out of the park and deep into the Universe (accelerating as it goes) with this readable, enjoyable, fascinating, and, ultimately satisfying examination of the Universe's end game. Mack poses the question physicists and non-physicists alike have pondered every time we gaze into the depths of space: "How's it all gonna end?" With a writing style sensitive to the timid but curious minds of those who want to better understand the prospects of a universe that will either fade in a prolonged cold whimper, or rip apart, or consume itself at light speed, Dr. Mack leads us along a path paved in scientific rigor tempered by the clear language of an adept and frequently wry wordsmith.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    At times laugh-out-loud funny, consistently illuminating, delightful to read from start to finish. I learned a ton, and actually plan to re-read this at times to refresh my understanding of a number of concepts that Katie lays out. As a lay-person with a fair degree of interest in (but no training in) astrophysics, this book was a perfect blend of insight, explanation, and break-your-brain theory. Cannot recommend this highly enough.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joao DeMacedo

    I loved this book! Her passion and humor turn an otherwise esoteric subject into a fun trip into a “knowledge rabbit hole”. This is the best book about astrophysics I’ve read since Brian Cox’s “why does E=MC2...?”. She is as good a communicator as Neil deGrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan. I sure hope this is only the first of many books to come.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nick de Vera

    Some introductory stuff, but that's to be expected. Any time a science communicator talks about the CMB, you know the pigeon stories are coming up. I just quickly zipped through the noob stuff, it gets interesting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    4.5 stars a surprisingly upbeat and enjoyably read given the subject matter

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dave Levitan

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